Sweden needed to win in Seville on Sunday to top Group B but will go into the play-offs instead after Luis Enrique’s home side saw out a nervy final match of their qualifying campaign to clinch the automatic spot.
Spain are headed for their 12th consecutive World Cup after a 1-0 win over Sweden saw them finish top of European qualifying Group B.
The Swedes’ shock 2-0 defeat to Kazakhstan on Thursday had handed Spain pole position in Group B, meaning La Roja just needed a point to qualify.
Emil Forsberg had two clear-cut goalscoring opportunities for Sweden at the Estadio La Cartuja but was unable to test Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon.
Morata gave Spain victory with a close-range strike on the rebound with four minutes of the game left after Dani Olmo had seen his effort hit the crossbar.
Luis Enrique’s men were grateful for that reprieve as for a long time a repeat of the stalemate between the sides when they met in the group stages of Euro 2020 was on the cards.